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News & Press: State Bar News

10 apply for 4th Judicial District judge opening

Friday, May 31, 2019  
Posted by: Joe Menden
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Ten Montana attorneys have applied with the Judicial Nomination Commission for an opening for Fourth Judicial District judge.

The applicants are:

  • Travis Benjamin Dye
  • Carrie Lynne Garber
  • Karen Paula Kane
  • Larry Dean Mansch
  • Jason Troy Marks
  • Donald James McCubbin, Jr.
  • Ryan Alane Phelan
  • Tracy Labin Rhodes
  • Michael Joseph Sherwood
  • Leta Jean Womack

The commission is now soliciting public comment on the applicants. The applications may be viewed at the commission website. Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 30.

The position opened when Judge Karen S. Townsend of Missoula announced in April that she is retiring effective Aug. 30.

The commission is now accepting public comment. Written comments can be emailed to or mailed to Judicial Nomination Commission, c/o Lois Menzies, Office of Court Administrator, P.O. Box 203005, Helena, MT 59620-3005. Comments can also be submitted by calling 406-841-2972. The comments, which become part of an applicant’s file, will be posted on the commission’s web page.

The commission will forward the names of three to five nominees to Gov. Steve Bullock for appointment after reviewing the applications, receiving public comment, and interviewing the applicants if necessary.  The position is subject to election in 2020, and the successful candidate will serve for the remainder of Judge Townsend’s term, which expires in January 2023.

Judicial Nomination Commission members are District Judge John Brown of Bozeman; Janice Bishop of Missoula; Karl Englund of Missoula; Elizabeth Halverson of Billings; Hal Harper of Helena; Lane Larson of Billings; and Nancy Zadick of Great Falls.